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Spotlight

Ora: Schlumberger’s New Wireline Formation Testing Platform

By Pedro Alcalá | Fri, 03/11/2022 - 12:45

Schlumberger’s intelligent Ora platform was introduced to Mexico in March 2020, pre-pandemic, however the company had introduced to PEMEX the then Ora platform as early as Dec. 2018, logging the Ixachi 1001 well with it. This represented a significant innovation in wireline formation testing. Ora combines new digital hardware with cloud-native collaborative software for unprecedented performance, including those that were impossible to manage previously. These include: High Pressure High Temperature (HPHT) environments, tight or unconsolidated formations or near-critical fluids, revolutionizing dynamic reservoir characterization in the process. This allows users to look deeper into the reservoir, confirm reserves sooner, expedite completion strategies and obtain a head start on field development planning and the design of facilities.

Ora plays a crucial role in the de-risking of reserves uncertainty, the maximization of production and the provision of real-time data and model integration to determine hydrocarbons in place. The platform can also support optimized connectivity and deliverability to accurately assess flow assurance risks. It can measure formation pressure, provide contact identification, determine fluid properties and gradients efficiently as well as sample fluids at the highest purity. It executes all of this while providing downhole PVT measurements and integrated customized evaluation of reservoir fluid geodynamics.  

Ora allows for dynamic reservoir characterization in average times that are 50 percent faster than the competition, reducing energy consumption in half while contributing to the decarbonization of any project’s daily operations. Ora achieves this in part through its operational efficiency when conducting bottomhole fluid analysis. Furthermore, Ora can reduce carbon emissions by up to 96 percent, particularly in offshore environments, through its deep transient testing (DTT) capabilities, which means the platform will be in full alignment with UN Sustainable Development Goals 12 and 13. 

How Does It Work?

Ora is qualified to work in temperature and pressure conditions of up to 392°F (200 °C) and 35,000 psi, with dual flowline architecture, laboratory-accuracy metrology and smart downhole automation. 

Flow management options from 0.05 to 108b/d in combination with focused radial probes and a dual-inlet dual-packer system perform focused sampling in virtually all conditions and bring deep transient testing operations to wireline. The pump’s capacity of up to 108b/d allows higher volume pumping, while unique fluid-handling technology enables active hydrocarbon circulation to surface for well control, allowing for longer testing times. In addition, with advanced sensor technology, one can see deeper into the reservoir.

DTT on wireline was developed as a joint project between Schlumberger and Equinor (then Statoil) to bridge the gap between transient wireline formation testing and drillstem testing (DST), while providing a more sustainable and economical solution for evaluating exploration and appraisal wells around the world. This breakthrough is what led Schlumberger's DTT on wireline technology to win the 2021 World Oil Award for Best Exploration Technology. 

The advanced downhole fluid analysis (DFA) system fills two roles for the Ora platform. The first is to sample assurance, in which the purity of the acquired reservoir fluid is quantified in situ by multiple sensors, including data from the dual-flowline 24-channel spectrometer; fluorescence, resistivity and density sensors; and pressure and temperature gauges. Once the presence of representative fluid has been verified, further analysis can be conducted by extensively profiling fluid properties with a suite of high-precision, high-accuracy measurements that work through gauges and components fully rated to function up to 200°C. These measurements include:

  • Oil, water, and gas volume fractions

  • Gas/oil ratio (GOR)

  • Hydrocarbon composition

  • CO2

  • Calibrated resistivity

  • High precision density

  • Full specter viscosity

  • Fluid color

Four Building Blocks of the Ora Platform Architecture

  • Digital Hardware backed by a digital framework that redefines the client’s experience, enabling fast and secure real-time decision-making.

  • Intelligent Planning that gathers all relevant, integrated and updated data to optimize further data acquisition strategies and design optimal hardware configurations.

  • Operations Control provides all members of a team, independently of location, with collaborative access to all operations and results while also contributing wellsite automation through the leveraging of cutting-edge technologies.

  • Contextual Insights that provide detailed and interactive real-time 2D and 3D visualizations of all data acquired in the context of the reservoir, available through a personalized and interactive decision-making board that maximizes data value. 

Accomplishments That Ora Brings to Mexico 

Ora has successfully completed over 40 projects across the world in a variety of operational environments, including the North Sea, the Gulf of Mexico, Central America, the Middle East and Northern and Western Africa. In African deepwater operations, Ora enabled an operator to confirm oil production deliverability and book reserves. Compared with a conventional DST, Ora’s DTT operation reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 96 percent, equivalent to 5,504 tons of carbon dioxide. This is comparable to removing GHG emissions from 436,905 passenger vehicles driven for one day or 1,197 passenger vehicles driven for one year.

In Mexico, PEMEX’s use of Ora led to the collection of high-quality condensate samples in challenging conditions that included permeability below 0.03 mD, temperatures above 360°F (182°C) and pressure readings above 20,000 psi. This enabled PEMEX to announce a tripling of its estimated reserves in Mexico’s most important onshore discovery in 25 years.

 

Schlumberger is a technology company that partners with customers to access energy. With people representing over 160 nationalities, in more than 120 countries, that provide leading digital solutions and deploy innovative technologies to enable performance and sustainability for the global energy industry.

Pedro Alcalá Pedro Alcalá Senior Journalist & Industry Analyst